• whip •
hwip • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Noun
Meaning: 1. A lash or scourge, an instrument of punishment with a handle attached to a long, slender, flexible or loose flagellum. 2. Egg-beater, a kitchen utensil made of looped or coiled wires used for whipping eggs and the like. 3. The member of a legislative body whose job is to enforce party discipline. 4. Any long, slender, flexible object, such as 'a whip antenna.'
Notes: This noun is the same as the verb meaning, basically, "to use a whip". However, whips are associated with extremely fast movement, so we can say "I'll whip down to the store for some milk". We use the present participle as an adjective or noun, but the personal noun is whipper. A young whippersnapper is an arrogant youth, and whiplash is either the lash of a whip or a thoracic spinal injury caused by the head being snapped back and forth. A bullwhip is an exceptionally long whip used in herding livestock.
In Play: Long ago children watched B-western movies with Lash LaRue, a cowboy who used a bullwhip rather than a gun. He taught Harrison Ford his whip tricks for Ford's "Indiana Jones" series. The egg whip is used to make omelets. A popular ride at fairs and carnivals is called "The Whip", because it comprises a circle of swings on chains that are whipped around and around.
Word History: The noun whip is a copy of the verb whip, ultimately from Proto-Germanic wipjan "to move back and forth", source of Danish vippe "seesaw", and Dutch and German wippen "to seesaw". All these words derive from PIE weip-/woip- "to turn, vacillate, shake". This PIE word ended up in English as waive and waiver, aside from whip. (Today's fascinating Good Word comes from a newcomer to the Alpha Agora, Junior Lexiteria Joannes L.)
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